A leading Midland estate agent has been appointed High Sheriff of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Andrew Grant, who lives on a farm in Lower Broadheath, Worcester, was formally decorated in a ceremony at Hereford's Shire Hall last night.
Mr Grant has owned one of the largest networks of independent estate agents in the region, with 14 branches, for 34 years, and is the West Midlands chairman of the Country Landowners Association.
In another ceremony the Queen will pick out his name on a parchment list with a silver bodkin.
Historically, the High Sheriff was the Crown's representative in each of the counties of England and Wales, and was responsible for the administration of justice and the safety of judges in the county. The Office of High Sheriff is at least 1,000 years old, having its roots in Saxon times, before the Norman conquest.
It is the oldest secular office under the Crown. Originally, the office carried many of the responsibilities now held by Lord-Lieutenants, High Court judges, magistrates, coroners and even the Inland Revenue.
In modern practice, the office holder is expected to adopt a theme for the year.